As the Super Bowl approached last week, my son suddenly developed an interest in football. This works out for me, since American football is the one sport I know a good deal about. It did, however, bring me into the conundrum of how I should let him pick his favorite team.
Despite living in New England, I’m a Giants fan. Sorry, Patriots, but my dad followed football before you guys were a franchise, and the Giants used to hold their training camp up here in Vermont. I like Tom Brady and company, but I just can’t bring myself to really care about their success or failure.
At the same time, I don’t want my kids to select their preferences based only on what I like. My dad was a pro at this – he would take deliberately contrary views, sometimes even spouting some very offensive ideology, with the ultimate goal of making us stand up for our beliefs. He used this tactic for just about everything, from sports to serious issues like racism.
I can take my dad’s lessons to heart, but I can’t replicate them, even with something as trivial as sports. If my kids ever become Cowboys fans, they’re just going to have to deal with me throwing up in my mouth a little whenever they wear something with that damned star on it.
(Then again, if my kids ever wind up playing or working for the Cowboys, go Dallas!)
We have biased our kids a little bit toward the Giants, but I deem that to be necessary. Our son’s first football season saw them reach the Super Bowl, so we couldn’t not get him some Giants gear. They’ve gone 22-34 since our daughter was born, so she hasn’t been quite so lucky.